Udupi sambar Recipe with step by step photos. Udupi sambar is a lightly sweet, semi spiced, tangy and a flavorful sambar made with pigeon pea lentils and mixed vegetables. Vegan recipe.
I have had udupi sambar many times in the udupi restaurants in Mumbai as well as bangalore. Then I never liked the mild sweetness that would be in the sambar.
At home the sambars we made were never sweet. So, I could not figure out why jaggery in the sambar. after years, I have started to relish and enjoy the subtle sweetness in sambar and even in dal and kadhis.
The udipi sambar is famous after the temple town of udupi. udupi city is famous for its sai krishna temple and udupi cuisine. Udupi cuisine is purely vegetarian.
Whenever you are looking for purely vegetarian restaurant in south India then the tag of udupi restaurant means they serve totally vegetarian food. similarly in north India the ‘vaishno’ tag with a dhaba or restaurant, means they serve purely vegetarian food.
Udupi food is satvik without the use of onion and garlic. the famous masala dosa has its origin in udupi cuisine and here now I am sharing the recipe of udupi sambar.
I have added small sambar onions to the recipe but you can skip it you want a satvik & a no onion no garlic sambar.
Fresh roasted spices are used in the recipe. these spices are ground later to a smooth paste along with coconut. As we all know when we add fresh spices to any food, magic happens. You don’t need to add any ready sambar powder to make the udupi sambar.
Unlike the Kerala sambar, This udupi sambar has a slight sweet taste with a bit of spiciness. It also has coconut in it. Lightly spiced, sour, slightly sweet and aromatic. It is served with idlis or dosa. Also goes well with some steamed rice.
Here I have added veggies like drumsticks, aubergines, bottle gourd (lauki) and sambar onions. Do use veggies which are generally used in sambar. The recipe is very easy and simple to make.
I served the udupi sambar with some rice as well as mysore masala dosa.
P.s – here’s one interesting and endearing post I read on Udupi cuisine…. going back to one’s roots.
Making udupi sambar powder
1. Keep all the ingredients required for making sambar powder ready. The ingredients required are 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons urad dal, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon chana dal, ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing) and 3 to 4 dry red chilies. Do note that as a reader had suggested in the comments, you can also add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.
2. Dry roast only the spices mentioned above for the sambar powder on a low flame till they become aromatic.
3. when cooled, add the roasted spices in a grinder jar. Also add ⅓ cup water (or as required) and ¼ cup grated coconut. Grind to a fine paste. You can also use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut.
4. This is how the paste will look like.
How to make udupi sambar
5. In a pressure cooker add ⅓ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils) and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
6. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook the dal for 7 to 8 whistles in medium flame or till the dal is well cooked and softened.
7. Meanwhile when the dal is cooking, soak 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind in ⅓ cup hot water.
8. Once the pressure settles down, then remove the lid.
10. Mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon. keep aside.
11. In another pan, mix 5 to 6 quartered sambar onions (pearl onions), 1 chopped carrot, ½ cup chopped lauki (bottle gourd), 2 to 3 quartered small brinjals, 1 to 2 drumsticks peeled and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces, 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 medium-sized tomato diced. Also add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
12. Next add 2 cups water.
13. Cover the pan.
14. Cook till the veggies are almost done.
15. Add the mashed dal to the veggies.
16. Stir and mix well.
17. Squeeze the tamarind pulp.
18. Stir and add the tamarind pulp. You can also use a mesh strainer.
19. Next add the ground udupi sambar masala paste.
20. If required you can add some water. I added ¼ cup water. Also add salt as required.
21. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons jaggery powder or grated jaggery.
22. Stir and mix well.
23. Simmer for some 10-12 minutes or more. You have to simmer till the raw aroma of the tamarind has disappeared and the whole flavors in the sambar have merged with each other. Check the taste and if required add more salt.
Making tempering for udupi sambar
24. Heat oil in a small pan. Splutter 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds.
25. Then add 2 dry red chilies, 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 generous pinch of asafoetida (hing).
26. Fry for some seconds.
27. Pour the tempering mixture in the udupi sambar.
28. Stir and mix well.
29. Cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors get mixed with the udupi sambar.
30. Serve with idli, dosa or steamed rice.
More Samar varieties
- ⅓ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
- 2 cups water for pressure cooking dal
- 5 to 6 sambar onions (shallots) or 1 medium sized onion - quartered (optional)
- 1 carrot - peeled and chopped
- ½ cup chopped bottle gourd (lauki or opo squash)
- 2 to 3 small brinjals (baingan or eggplant) - quartered
- 1 or 2 drumsticks - peeled and cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
- 1 medium sized tomato - diced
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind soaked in ⅓ cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 or 2 teaspoons jaggery or as add as required
- 2 cups water for cooking veggies
- salt as required
for udupi sambar powder
- 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons urad dal (husked and split black gram)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (husked and split bengal gram)
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 3 to 4 byadagi dry red chilies or kashmiri red chilies
- ¼ cup grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut
- ⅓ cup water for grinding or add as required
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 dry red chilies
- a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 or 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
- some coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
making udupi sambar powder
- Dry roast only the spices mentioned under sambar powder.
- When cooled, grind to a fine paste with some water along with grated coconut.
making udupi sambar
- Pressure cook tuvar dal with 2 cups water with ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder for 7 to 8 whistles on medium flame.
- When the dal is cooked and soft, mash the dal with a wired whisk or a spoon. keep aside.
- In another pan, mix the chopped veggies, 2 cups water, turmeric powder, salt and cook till the veggies are almost done.
- Add the mashed dal to the veggies.
- Stir and add the tamarind pulp followed by the sambar masala paste. if required you can add some water.
- Add the jaggery also and stir.
- Simmer for some 10-12 minutes or more, till the raw aroma of the tamarind has disappeared and the whole flavors in the sambar have merged with each other.
- Taste and if required add salt.
making tempering for udupi sambar
- Heat oil. first splutter the mustard seeds.
- Then add the red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
- Fry for some seconds and pour the tempering mixture in the udupi sambar.
- Cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes, so that the tempering flavors get mixed with the udupi sambar.
- Serve hot with idli, dosa or steamed rice.